State Heroin Charges
Drug related offenses are usually challenging offenses to deal with because drug laws are some of the most complex criminal laws. Because drug related offenses are typically regarded as a gateway to connect crime in a number of different ways (i.e. use, possession, manufacture, distribution, and even violent crimes) criminal laws are vast in order to incorporate each violation. Furthermore, due to the increased violence surrounding drug related activities, Congress has passed laws cracking down on both the sale and possession of drug related offenses. As a result, under federal law and the laws of all the states, heroin possession and heroin drug trafficking is a crime with severe penalties and far reaching effects.
Heroin, morphine, and opium all derive from the opium poppy. Specifically, heroin is processed from morphine, which is extracted from the poppy plant. The milky, sap-like opium is first removed from the pod of the poppy flower and then refined to make morphine, then further refined into different forms of heroin. Heroin is the illegal/recreational white or brown powder form or black sticky substance, known as “black tar” that is either snorted or dissolved in water and injected. In contrast to the medical opiate morphine, possession, manufacture, and distribution of any amount of heroin for any purpose is illegal under both federal and state laws.
North Carolina divides dangerous substances into six “Schedules” ranking them from what are considered the most dangerous drugs to those with the lowest probability of abuse as the Schedule number increases. Heroin is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance because it is considered to be a dangerous substance with no medical value.
North Carolina Gen. Stat. § 90-89 (2) (J) to be classified as a Schedule I controlled substance the substance must have:
- A high potential for abuse,
- No current accepted medical use in the United States, or
- Lacks accepted safety for use in treatment under medical supervision.
Schedule I is the most dangerous classification for illegal substances and includes drugs like Codeine, Methamphetamine and Heroin.What are the punishments for Heroin possession?
It is important to keep in mind that North Carolina bases penalties on the defendant’s prior criminal record. Therefore, depending on whether the defendant has prior convictions, how many, and of what type can render a different fine or prison time as it relates to each individual circumstance. However, all charges for heroin, whether for possession or distribution, are felonies that center around three major categories:
Possession: Since heroin is an illegal substance any amount of heroin found on a person they can be subject to a charge for possession. Mere possession of any amount of heroin is a Class I felony, with potentially a 12-24 month prison sentence along with fines and a potential loss of driving privileges.
Possession with the intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver: A person that is caught with not only mere possession but also with the intent to, or did in fact, manufacture, sell, or deliver heroin the charge becomes possession with the intent and the charge is a Class G felony 24-47 month prison sentence along with fines.
Trafficking: Otherwise known as distribution, these charges carry much stiffer penalties and larger fines. Heroin distribution of 4-14g is a Class F felony, a 70-84 month prison sentence and a $50,000 fine. Heroin distribution of 14-28g is a Class E felony, a 90-117 month prison sentence and a $100,000 fine. Heroin distribution of 28g and over is a Class C felony, a 225-279 month prison sentence and a $500,000 fine.Seeking Legal Help
Possessing and/or distribution convictions can often carry heavy fines and long prison sentences, even if you have no prior criminal record. In North Carolina, it is illegal to possess any controlled dangerous substance without a valid medical prescription. Therefore seeking and retaining experienced legal representation is one of the best ways to ensure that the criminal case is handled correctly. The attorneys of Arnold & Smith, PPLC have the extensive legal experience necessary to make sure due process was followed and your rights are protected.
At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys are prepared to help you fight any and all charges. If you or someone close to you has been charged with a heroin related crime or any other drug related charge please contact us to ensure your rights are protected.
Call today at (704)-370-2828 or click below to contact us now, for a free consultation.